The decade of the 50s in the last century was considered one of the heydays of Philippine cinema. With three major film production companies and several smaller film outfits churning out films continuously, two to three local films were shown weekly throughout the year.
The three major film companies were LVN Pictures, Sampaguita Pictures and Premiere Productions.
Following are only the box office hits of LVN Pictures in that decade:
PRINSIPE AMANTE (1950) A box-office hit which starred Rogelio dela Rosa as Prinsipe Amante, Delia Razon in her initial lead role as Prinsesas Elena, Ben Rubio as Prince Rodrigo, Eliseo Carvajal as King Falcon and Oscar Obligacion as the court jester. It was directed by National Artist Lamberto Avellana.
DALAWANG PRINSIPENG KAMBAL (1950) The film was topbilled by the comedians Togo and Pugo, with Teody Belarmino and Milagros Naval. This comedy costume flick was directed by Manuel Silos.
PANYOLITONG BUGHAW (1950) The film starred Celia Flor, Mario Montenegro, , Carmencita Abad, Tessie San Juan, Ven Medina, Jose Troni, Pricilla Ramirez, Miguel Lopez and Miniong Alvarez. It was directed by Billy Icasiano.
PROBINSYANO (1950) Topbilled by Jaime de la Rosa, Evelyn Villar, Milagros Naval and Alfonso Carvajal, the film was directed by Tony Arnaldo.
HIRAM NA ASAWA (1950) The film starred Mario Montenegro, Carlos Salazar, Lorna Mirasol, Cecilia Lopez and Emma Alegre and was directed by Susana C. de Guzman.
AY PEPITA (1950) With Mario Montenegro and Nita Javier in the lead roles, this film introduced Bernard Bonnin and also featured Manding Claro, Milagros Naval, Luz Valdez, Mila Ocampo, Arturo Moran, Ric Mojica, Miniong Alvarez and Mario Roldan, also directed by Susana C. de Guzman.
NASAAN KA IROG (1951) The film topbilled Letty Liboon as a singer who was wooed by two brothers portrayed by Mario Montenegro as a pianist and Val Castelo as a guitarist. The cast also included Nita Gutierrez, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Elena Balmori, Pricilla Ramirez, Bentot and Fe Galvez, under the direction of Jose Climaco.
RODRIGO DE VILLA (1952) Another film featuring the box-office loveteam of Mario Montenegro and Delia Razon also starred Nestor de Villa, Oscar Keese, Jose Vergara, and Carlos Salazar, under the direction of Dr. Gregorio Fernandez, the father of the late action star Rudy Fernandez.
DALAGANG NAYON (1953) This romantic comedy film was topbilled by Tessie Quintana and Carlos Salazar, as supported by Rosa Aguire, Mario Roldan, Cora Madrid, Gomercindo Buencamino, Fernando Garcia, Oscar Obligacion and Menngay, under the direction of Artemio Marquez.
HIJO DE FAMILIA (1953) Another Nestor de Villa-Nida Blanca tandem, this film about young lovers with family problems also starred Carlos Salazar and Priscilla Cellona, under the direction of Felicing Constantino.
WARAY-WARAY (1954) One of the most successful Nerstor de Villa-Nida Blanca starrers, this comedy musical also starred Leroy Salvador, Nora Dy, Ike Jarlego Jr., Naty Bernardo, Natoy Katindig, LourdesYumol and Pianing Vidal, under the direction of F.H. Constantino.
TIRIRIT NG IBON (1955) This musical romance comedy starred Charito Solis, Leror Salvador, Val Castelo and Lou Salvador Sr., under the direction of Lou Salvador Sr.
DALAGANG TARING (1955) The film cast Delia Razon and Nestor de Villa (as a breather from their tandems with Mario Montenegro and Nida Blanca) with the suppoer of Rosa Aguirre, Arturo Moran, Vic Silayan, Naty Fernandez, and Mario Roldan, under the direction of Dr. Gregorio Fernandez.
LAPU LAPU(1955) Mario Montenegro portrayed the role of Lapu Lapu with co-stars Delia Razon, Priscilla Cellona, Oscar Keese, Johnny Reyes, Ven Medina, Vic Silayan, Jose Vergara, Eusebio Gomez, Oscar Obligacion, Arturo Moran, Joanne Mesina, Mario Roldan, Jenny Garcia, and Miniong Alvarez. The historical film was directed by Lamberto Avellana.
SQUATTERS (1955) A re-teamup of Nestor de Villa and Nida Blanca, ably suppoted by Tony Santos, Alfonso Carvajal, Gil de Leon, Johnny Reyes, Letty Alonzo, Miniong Alvarez, Elena Acosta, Ester Bautista, Natoy Katindig and Antonio Medina, under the direction of Dr. Gregorio Fernandez.
HIGIT SA KORONA (1956) A re-teamup of Mario Montenegro and Delia Razon who portrayed a prince and a commoner who was caught in the market stealing but rescued by the prince who fell in love with her to the point of abdicating the crown. Their co-stars were Rosa Rosal, Johnny Reyes, Jose Vergara, Alfonso Carvajal, Joseph de Cordova and Rosa Aguirre. It was directed by Richard Abelardo.
TURISTA (1956) Another Nestor de Villa-Nida Blanca team-up as they co-starred with Bimbo Danao, Atsuko Kindaichi, Rebecca del Rio, Luisa Montesa, and Bayani Casimito with guests star Jaime de la Rosa, Delia Razon and Charito Solis. One of the first films in Eastman color in collaboration with Japan’s Daiei Motion Picture Co., LTD., it was directed by Felicing Constantino.
PINTOR KULAPOL (1957) This dramatic romance film starred Mario Monte-negro as a painter and Cecilia Lopez as a blind woman, with co-stars Arturo Moran and Ludy Carmena.
HIWAGA NG PAG-IBIG (1958) This film starred Val Castelo and Lita Gutierrez, with the support of Pugo, Johnny Reyes and Rosa Aguirre, under the direction of Natoy B. Katindig.
DETECTIVE MATURAN (1959) This film starred Tawag ng Tanghalan champion Diomedes Maturan opposite Luz Valdez, with the support of Pugo, Lopito, Patsy, Liza Moreno and Caridad Sanchez, under the direction of Natoy Katindig.
MATURAN AT LAGMAN (1959) Tawag ng Tanghalan champions Diomedes Maturan and Cenon Lagman were paired with Marita Zobel and Mila Ocampo respectively in a comedy musical directed by Natoy Katindig. The cast also included Pugo, Lopito, Patsy, Bentot, Johnny Reyes, Carmen del Ocampo, Ric Gutierrez, Dolly Garcia and Pabo Zapata, under the direction of Natoy Katindig.
KRISALIS (1959) The film starred Charito Solis in the title role as she co-starred with Jaime de la Rosa, Delia Razon, Nestor de Villa, Nita Javier and Rebecca del Rio, under the direction of Susana C. De Guzman.
BAYANIHAN (1959) This is a star-studded film with the likes of Nestor de Villa, Carmencita Abad, Manding Claro, Bernard Bonnin, Liza Moreno, Perla Bautista, Caridad Sanchez, Alfonso Carvajal, Eusebio Gomez, Naty Bernardo , Priscilla Ramirez, Miniong Alvarez, Ben Castillo and Adelina Villamil. The film was directed by National Artist Manuel Conde.
(Next week: 1950s films of Sampaguita Pictures)
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